How it felt yesterday: The ultimate oppression

“Hit the target” by Mazen Kerbaj. View more of his work.

“Oppression at this level … it is too much.”

“How much more oppressive can the world be?”

“It is so unfair … they have become professionals in oppression.”

These are sentences I heard in Beirut today, not in reference to the ongoing war, not in reference to the killing of seven members of the convoy evacuated from Marjeyoun by UNIFIL, or the fifteen members of another southern village - Rchaf - and not in reference to the ongoing destruction of the southern suburbs of Beirut.

These are sentences Lebanese are uttering in reference to the UN resolution to end the war on Lebanon.

It is a feeling of ultimate oppression that is reigning in the streets of Beirut; ultimate oppression that turned a victory into a resolution for our colonization; ultimate oppression not only by the Israeli war machine but also by the international community that offered Israel what it could not take by force. Ultimate oppression for being witness to the defeat of the Israeli army but not allowed to live the victory.

It was the quietest yet most painful morning in Beirut since the beginning of the war. It started with news about the UN resolution against Lebanon - the resolution that will end the resistance and leave us easy prey to the fully armed state of Israel.

The anger from the Israeli atrocities and death squads suddenly turns into deep pain, the pain of the ultimate oppression we feel.

I read the UN resolution and reread it again. It is hard to believe that after a whole month of an Israeli war on Lebanon - which caused the destruction of infrastructure, the flattening of whole villages and parts of the country, cost more than one thousand lives lost and wounded many thousands, displaced a million, and defeated the Israeli army - we get an “Israeli resolution by excellence” as the men in the street below are shouting now in front of the TV camera polling about the resolution. Israeli resolution by excellence, thanks to the international community - the separation is blurred in a war that is more American than it is Israeli. A war that will witness the birth of a new Middle East - after we lived its birth pangs - as called for by the American Empire; a new Middle East whose birth requires the annihilation of all resistance groups in the region.

I read and I feel deeper pain, the pain of an oppressive language that makes the war sound as if it is led by Hizbullah. To end this Hizbullah attack and work for the sustainable peace, 15,000 UNIFIL members and 15,000 other Lebanese army troops are to be deployed in an area extending from the borders with Irsrael inside Lebanon until the Litani river - not inside of Israel, since they are the victims and the ones who need to be protected from their neighbor’s attack!

And since they were the attacked, there will be an unconditional release of the two captured Israeli soldiers and no time constraint on their withdrawal from the land they grabbed during this invasion and previous ones - the Shebaa farms.

I read and feel the pain, the pain of the trap the resolution is setting for Lebanon: a siege on the resistance, to disarm it, so Israel can attack as it wishes in the future. I read and feel pain, the pain of Iraq all over again. An Iraq besieged for more than ten years turned into a weakened Iraq and then invaded and destroyed with the consent of the UN.

I read and I feel the pain, the pain of discrimination: two captive Israeli soldiers are worth a war that causes endless pain, and are worth a UN resolution that gives Israel all what it could not take by force. Meanwhile, the imprisonment of a whole nation in Gaza and the West Bank, and the imprisonment of its elected parliament members, does not even elicit a condemnation from the international community. A state of sanctions, borders will be closed do as to watch any smuggling of arms, while Israel - as is being reported on the front pages of international newspapers - is asking for more missiles from the US and is granted the nuclear head bunker buster. This is in addition to its arms industry that will keep on producing all sorts of weapons from the weak to the nuclear.

I read and I feel the pain to realize that no small group is allowed to resist in our world, that all the great nations will object. The oppressed in this world are not to be inspired by a success of a small resistance group. Resistance needs to be smashed so the interest of the G8 is preserved. The only resistance allowed is the one they set for us, the postmodern sort of resistance when we can sing, dance, and act against oppression but not end it.

I read and I feel the pain … the pain of ultimate oppression.

As I am reading, I listen to a song by Majidah el Romi about the first Qana massacre and I sing it to the rulers of our world:

Where are you going to escape from the anger, growing inside a nation skilled in anger?
From our imprisoned rights, where are you going to escape?
From the curse of consciousness, where are you going to escape?

Mayssoun Sukarieh is a native of Beirut

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